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Geography and Environmental Sustainability

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Geography and Environmental Sustainability


We are a dynamic and growing department located in Norman, Oklahoma, named one of the best small cities in America.

Our mission is to conduct innovative and socially relevant research; to expand students’ intellectual vistas via critical perspectives and valuable tools and skills; and to catalyze sustainable human-natural systems.

DGES is pleased to announce a new cluster hire of three faculty in Earth System Prediction and Community Resilience.

View the advertisement for these positions here.

DGES Welcomes Our New Faculty Members, Diana Denham, Selena Feng, Timothy Filley, Kasey Jones-Motrona, Tom Mueller, Lauren Mullenbach, and Anni Yang!

For more information about our new faculty and their research, visit the People page of our website here.

Open Letter from Chair

I believe one of our key strengths within DGES is our collective, strong, consistent, and ongoing support for everyone within our diverse community. We treasure and value the notion that there is unity in diversity and we also strive to continue to facilitate an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of their background.  It is our ongoing mission to make everyone feel as though they are an integral part of our welcoming and inclusive community.   I feel that it is important that we all remain vigilant to any behavior that goes against our core values.  Thus,  if anyone sees or feels any racist or any inappropriate activity, please reach out to myself, Jamie, or Bruce, so we can address and remediate such activity as soon as possible.

I recognize that these are extremely challenging times, and I want to let everyone know that we are all in this together, and DGES leadership, faculty, and staff remain committed and dedicated to support everyone within DGES.   My door and virtual zoom room is always open and available should anyone feel the need to reach out and seek support, and I encourage you to do so for any reason.



DGES in the News

Headshot of Jennifer Koch against white background

Dr. Jennifer Koch has been named associate research director of the University of Oklahoma Data Science Institute for Societal Challenges. Founded in July 2020, the institute is designed to integrate data science expertise across the university and harness data science innovation to solve real-world problems.

Read the full story here:

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See graduate student José Montalva's booklets about the giant bumblebee and the Mapuche people.

B.dahlomii booklet 1

B.dahlbomii booklet 2


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Check out Dr. de Beurs' new NASA grant to study emerging infectious disease threats in Central Asia, including coronavirus!


Congratulations to DGES students Madison Wilson and Madeline Wade for placing 1st and 2nd in the 2020 Southwest Division of the American Association of Geographers Undergraduate Paper Competition!

Congratulations to DGES students Eli Tuberg and Cayton Moore! Eli and Cayton will be receiving a recognition that has been created to honor the hard work and dedication of outstanding graduate students who teach at OU: The Provost’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching.  The recipients represent the top 10 percent of all graduate assistants across campus by student evaluations for courses taught during the Spring 2020 semester. 

Congratulations again to Eli and Cayton!

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Congratulations to Ph.D student Aditi Singh for receiving The Provost’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching! The award is created to honor the hard work and dedication of outstanding graduate students who teach at OU.


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Congratulations to the students at the Annual SWAAG meeting in Forth Worth!

Ale Acuña Balbuena won the paper competition with “Reproductive Rights and Development in Peru: Indigenous Perspectives from The Quipu Project.” 

Madison Wilson earned second place in the undergraduate student poster competition with her first-ever poster, “Spatial and temporal patterns of fallow/idle cropland in the United States Rio Grande Basin."

Cayton Moore made an impact as the student officer representing the region and several other DGES students presented papers and posters.

Drs. Randy Peppler and Angela Person student Madeline Wade won first place in the undergraduate student poster competition with her poster “Public Perceptions of Water Reuse in Norman, Oklahoma."